The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced that it uncovered 83 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region within the past week. This revelation is part of the company’s efforts to combat crude oil theft and illegal activities in the oil and gas sector. In addition to the illegal refineries, 15 illegal pipeline connections were also discovered during the same period.
The NNPCL, in a documentary shared on its official channels, reported a total of 211 incidents of oil theft and vandalism between January 6 and 12, 2023. The company highlighted its commitment to addressing the menace of crude oil theft and vandalism in collaboration with security agencies and private security firms.
As part of its efforts, the NNPCL, along with the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, inspected an illegal crude oil vessel named MT Kali in Oporoza, Warri, Delta State. The vessel was intercepted by Tantita Security Services, a private security firm, in collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. The vessel was allegedly loading crude oil directly from an offshore platform in Bayelsa State. All 23 crew members on board the illegal vessel have been arrested.
The Nigerian government and its oil industry continue to grapple with the challenges of oil theft, illegal refining, and vandalism in the Niger Delta region. These activities not only pose environmental hazards but also contribute to revenue losses for the government and oil companies. The NNPCL’s efforts, including the discovery of illegal refineries and the interception of illegal vessels, are part of ongoing initiatives to curb these illicit practices.